Elderly man planting a garden

3 cost considerations for aging in your home

As an older adult, you may find you’re in need of more support as you age— whether it be with activities of your daily routine, or with chores around the house. If you’re still living in your own home and can’t—or prefer not to—rely on help from friends or relatives, that may lead you to consider home care assistance.

Home care can take many forms—from having a personal support worker or health care professional manage your daily medications and provide help with aspects of your daily routine like dressing, to foot care or having meals delivered. It can also incorporate home maintenance services such as snow shovelling, lawn cutting or painting.

For those home owners who no longer have a mortgage, the cost of those occasional personal or home services may, on the surface, seem insignificant when compared with other retirement options, such as a move to a retirement community; however, you may be surprised to discover that home care costs—and the time and energy spent on managing what could be a growing or complex range of personal care and home maintenance services—can add up, even outpacing the monthly cost of living in a retirement residence.

Here are three questions to ask yourself if you’re considering hiring personal or home care to stay in your home longer:

What is the cost of a personal support worker or medical professional?

Depending on where you live in Canada, personal support workers can cost between $20 and $30 per hour. Healthcare professionals—such as nurses, physiotherapists and social workers—can charge upwards of $50 per hour. Some or all of these costs may be covered by provincial or private health plans; but there are varying standards for eligibility and the number of hours and visits available. If round-the-clock or night/weekend support is needed, costs can escalate quickly, running into thousands of dollars per month.

Do I have the time and energy to schedule and manage these visits?

At first glance, this may not seem like an onerous task; however, circumstances can change, and depending on the frequency and type of home care visits, some people may find it time consuming to schedule and manage them. Also, waiting for an aide to help with daily dressing or bathing, or a meal delivery or housekeeping service, can sometimes isolate a person in their own home, limiting their opportunities to socialize and participate in other activities.

My home is paid for, but what other home-related services/costs should I consider?

Besides property taxes, water, utilities and other services like cable and Internet, a senior who wishes to stay in their home should also factor in annual maintenance costs. These may include major outlays such as a new roof, furnace and air conditioner repairs, and maintenance services such as lawn and garden services, snow clearing, painting, window washing and more.

If your home requires modifications such as stair lifts, ramps, doorway widening (for wheel chairs or walkers), bathroom modifications or other renovations to make it more accessible, those costs also have to be considered.

There are also many small, but necessary home maintenance tasks that can affect your wallet and time, such as changing light bulbs and replacing furnace filters or smoke detector batteries—all of which are important for your safety and peace of mind. It’s important to think about the time and energy required to do or arrange for these small tasks, and whether or not they will require help from family or the hiring of a maintenance person. Also consider to what extent home care assistance will alleviate some of these household responsibilities for you.

Chartwell is dedicated to helping older adults live well throughout every phase of their retirement years, and offers a full continuum of care across the complete spectrum of senior’s housing—from independent and assisted living to long term care residences. Each of our retirement communities are designed to empower you to live life to the fullest, and offer worry-free lifestyles that can include flexible services like tasty and nutritious dining options, housekeeping, 24-hour emergency response, social and active living opportunities, and access to a wide range of on-site health and wellness services—all of which are encompassed in one neat-and-tidy monthly bill.

For more information, call us today at 1-855-461-0685.